Our extensive findings on the issues affecting in-house counsel's

Our extensive findings on the issues affecting in-house counsel's
The Survey: Our extensive findings on the
issues affecting in-house counsel’s choice of
external counsel, and a look at trends across
the region ���������������������������������������������22

Asian-Counsel Firms of the Year: A full
list of the winning firms as voted by our
in-house counsel community�������������������38

The X Factor: Winning firms reveal why
they believe their winning practice areas
stand out in the crowd ��������������������������42
Our extensive findings on the issues affecting in-house counsel's
Representing Corporate Asia

    What makes in-house counsel tick? Asian-Counsel takes
    an in-depth look at the issues affecting the working
    relationship between in-house counsel and private
    practitioners across the Asia Pacific and UAE.

                     ith the corporate world shaken by the       ment were asked, with no obligation, to nominate law
                     global economic downturn, relation-         firms from across the region as their preferred local and
                     ships between organisations and their       international legal providers in each practice area. The
                     external legal advisors have never          results, therefore, do not indicate which law firms have
    been more important. Whilst companies experiencing           been most active in any given area or indeed, which
    stressful conditions across Asia and the United Arab         firms have worked on the most prominent or prestigious
    Emirates are now, perhaps more than ever, relying on         deals. Rather, the results are a true representation of
    guidance and advice from external counsel on matters         which private practice teams have made a strong
    of legal uncertainty and complexity, law firms are           impression on their clients and the in-house community
    fighting to hold onto clients as they suffer the effects     in general, providing the most objective and significant
    of declining activity levels. Despite this dual necessity,   recognition of the winning firms.
    many agree that the downturn has shifted the balance             For the first time ever, the Firms of the Year awards
    of power in the relationship between internal and            have also included an Emerging Firm category, with the
    external counsel, with many in-house counsel now             winners being law firms established for less than ten
    demanding more flexible partnerships, improved serv-         years but who have already made a significant impact
    ice levels and lower fee rates.                              with clients across a number of practice areas.
        So what are in-house counsel really looking for in           In our special report ‘The X Factor: What it takes to
    2009? The answers can be found in the results of Asian-      create a winning team’, we will also hear from some of
    Counsel’s annual survey, Representing Corporate Asia.        the winning firms as to why their practice areas have
    Conducted throughout the month of June 2009, the             attracted the attention of corporate counsel in a particu-
    survey identifies factors that influence in-house counsel    lar jurisdiction, and how they endeavour to meet the
    in their choice of external lawyers whilst highlighting      needs of their in-house counsel clients.
    areas of concern in dealing with law firms. Sent to over
    15,000 in-house counsel and senior corporate manage-         Survey methodology
    ment across the Asia Pacific and the UAE, the results of     The confidential survey, carried out both online and in
    the survey underscore the importance of quality and          writing, asked recipients to respond to nine multiple-
    value of services received from external counsel, whilst     choice questions which canvassed their views on their
    providing information on the mindset of the in-house         utilisation of private legal practitioners, and identified
    community in individual jurisdictions.                       matters of concern in retaining external practitioners.
        The calibre of survey respondents is also evident,       The questions were as follows:
    with 58 percent of respondents comprising Heads of           • How large is your in-house legal / compliance team?
    Legal, General Counsel and Chief Executive Officers,         • In the coming year, do you think your in-house legal
    and 42 percent consisting of senior counsel and in-              team will grow, shrink, or remain the same?
    house counsel.                                               • In the coming year, do you expect to use external
        Asian-Counsel is also pleased to announce the win-           counsel more, less, or about the same?
    ners of our Firms of the Year for 2009. As part of the       • What three factors most influence your choice of
    survey, in-house counsel and senior corporate manage-            outside counsel?

Our extensive findings on the issues affecting in-house counsel's
In-House Survey 2009

JULY / AUGUST 2009 23
Our extensive findings on the issues affecting in-house counsel's
Representing Corporate Asia

    •  Which issues have you found to be of concern when      corporate counsel come from teams consisting of 1
       dealing with outside counsel?                          person, 21-50 people and 51 people or more.
    • Which law firm do you prefer to use for particular
       practice areas, and why?                                        How big is your in-house
    • Which international law firm have you found most                 legal/compliance team?
       responsive to your needs, and why?
                                                                    51 people or more
    • Which domestic law firm have you found most                   21-50 people
       responsive to your needs, and why?                           6-20 people
    • Who do you consider the outstanding private prac-             2-5 people
                                                                    1 person    9.58%   7.14%       7.21%
       tice lawyer in your jurisdiction, and why?
    The results of the survey, broken down to reflect
    responses at both regional and jurisdictional levels,               34.33%
    provide a key insight into the motivations of corporate
    counsel when hiring external lawyers in this unstable

    ASIA PACIFIC AND THE UAE:                                    In direct contrast to the unstable employment envi-
    OVERALL TRENDS                                            ronments many private practitioners have faced in the
    At a regional level, the vast majority of in-house        past months, where the threat of redundancy has been
    respondents are currently working in legal and/or com-    an ongoing concern, the results of the survey were
    pliance teams of 2-5 people or 6-20 people (41.73 per-    markedly reassuring for in-house counsel in respect of
    cent and 34.33 percent respectively). The remaining       job security: 74.75 percent of respondents noted that

Our extensive findings on the issues affecting in-house counsel's
In-House Survey 2009

The Firm
Cho & Partners was established in 2002 by two senior members who decided to leave a large firm environment to create a
more focused, efficient and responsive practice. Based on the reputation and capabilities of the founding members (Tae-Yeon
Cho and Ik Hyun Seo), as well as the established trust and loyalty of their clients, Cho & Partners was immediately active in
representing multinational clients. The firm continues to primarily represent companies as well as trade organizations that are
among the most recognized names and leaders in various industries, such as software, computing and electronics, retailing,
fashion and luxury goods, energy, movies, insurance, sporting goods, wines, etc.
The key to the firm’s success is its philosophy – always provide the highest level of service that sophisticated multi-national
clients expect, and know each client and its business well so that matters will be addressed as effectively and thoroughly as

Areas of Practice
The firm has a strong and diverse practice in all aspects of intellectual property. It is very active with both domestic and in-
ternational prosecution practice in both trademarks and patents, as well as related disputes and administrative proceedings. In
the area of copyrights, the firm represents a number of individual companies as well as international industry organizations,
providing counseling and assisting in legislative efforts.
The firm enjoys a particularly strong reputation for its litigation practice and enforcement expertise. The firm is regularly
engaged in high profile IP litigation and is responsible for obtaining several landmark decisions at every court level, includ-
ing the Supreme Court.
In the area of anti-counterfeiting and enforcement, the firm is widely known for its effective and creative programs in com-
bating many difficult problems in Korea. The firm represents many brand owners in various industries and manages among
the most active anti-counterfeiting programs in the country. The firm also serves as the regional outside counsel for a multi-
national company in its enforcement matters throughout Asia.

                Cho & Partners is honored to be named
             Korea’s Firm of the Year in Intellectual Property

Cho & Partners
6th and 13th Floors, Ann Jay Tower, 718-2 Yeoksam-dong
Kangnam-ku, Seoul 135-080, Korea

Contact Person: Mr. Ik Hyun Seo (ihseo@cholaw.com)
Telephone: 822-6207-6800
Fax: 822-6207-6801

                                                                                                     JULY / AUGUST 2009 25
Our extensive findings on the issues affecting in-house counsel's
Representing Corporate Asia

    their team size is likely to remain the same during the      facing the vast proportion of in-house teams, coupled
    coming year, with only a very slim margin (5.75 per-         with recent demands for more flexible billing arrange-
    cent) anticipating any reduction in size. External law-      ments, fees dropped one spot from our 2008 poll, regis-
    yers interested in investigating in-house opportunities      tering as only the third most influential factor for
    will be encouraged by the statistics which reveal that       in-house counsel when choosing their external legal
    almost 20 percent of respondents expect their in-house       advisors. Flexible billing policies ranked a mere eighth
    teams to grow in the following twelve months.                on the list.
                                                                     Expertise in a specific area reigned supreme for a
      In the coming year, do you expect                          second year running, featuring in the top two choices
      your in-house team to . . .                                for each of the ten jurisdictions surveyed. The second
                                                                 most popular choice was a firm’s level of responsive-
         remain the same                                         ness which, featuring in the top three responses in each
                                                                 jurisdiction, bounded into the spotlight after a fifth
                                                                  Figure1:        Which factors most influence
                                     19.79%                                       your choice of outside counsel?

                                                                  Expertise in a specific area


                                                                          Reputation of firm
       Just over half of the respondents across the Asia              Relationship between
                                                                                   co. & firm
    Pacific and the UAE felt their teams were likely to engage
                                                                   Reputation of individual
    external counsel on similar terms as they had done previ-                         lawyer
                                                                  Personal relationship with
    ously (52.81 percent), whilst it was fairly even split                            lawyer

    between the remaining respondents as to whether their            Flexible billing policies

    use of law firms would increase or decrease (25.55 per-                  Free know-how
                                                                      Lawyers with certain
    cent and 21.64 percent respectively).                           cultural/language skills
                                                                  Company list of approved
        In the coming year, do you expect                                Brand name of firm
        to use external counsel . . .                                             Size of firm

                                                                              Other reasons
           the same
           more                                                                Low turnover

                                                                                                                                              Illustration: Johnnie Au
                                                                                IT Utilisation

                                                                       Reach/office location

                 52.81%                   25.55%                 Requirements of insurance
                                 21.64%                                                          0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80

                                                                 ranking in last year’s poll. In fourth place, reputation of
                                                                 a law firm remained a noteworthy indicator, although
    Factors influencing choice of                                in-house counsel are far less swayed in 2009 by the
    external counsel                                             reputation of individual lawyers (dropping from fourth
    Corporate counsel were also asked to comment on the          to tenth place), perhaps intimating that many corpora-
    three factors that most influenced their choice of out-      tions are increasingly eager to look at a firm as a whole
    side counsel, from a possible 18 options (please refer to    package in this uncertain climate, rather than pay for
    Figure 1). Despite the serious budgetary pressures           the advice of individual lawyers from different firms.

Our extensive findings on the issues affecting in-house counsel's
In-House Survey 2009

JULY / AUGUST 2009 27
Our extensive findings on the issues affecting in-house counsel's
Representing Corporate Asia

                                                                                                 China were more than happy to share their views on the
Figure2:     Which issues have you found to be of concern                                        service of external practitioners. The Technology, Media &
             when dealing with external counsel?
                                                                                                 Telecommunications (TMT) industry provided the largest
                                                                                                 proportion of votes (27 percent), with Financial Services
                  Excessive fees
                                                                                                 (21 percent) and the Manufacturing sector (11 percent)
Failure to completely understand
             business/company                                                                    polling in second and third place.
   Failure to answer questions/
  concerns in a reasonable time                                                                      According to the poll, respondents from China rate
       Wrong/bad advice given                                                                    expertise in a specific area (66.7 percent) as the main
              Unexplained fees
                                                                                                 source of attraction when choosing outside counsel.
                                                                                                 Fees (55.1 percent) and reputation of a firm (43.5 per-
Lack of update/news on matters
                                                                                                 cent) rounded out the top three choices. Interestingly,
        Work performed slowly/
                   inefficiently                                                                 China was the only jurisdiction to rank working with
               Missed deadline                                                                   lawyers with certain cultural/language skills in its top
Lack of involvement by partners                                                                  six choices, highlighting the continued demand for
Frequent turnover of associates
                                                                                                 strong domestic firms and the need for international
                                                                                                 firms to recruit Chinese lawyers with international
                 Ethical conflict
                                                                                                 experience, an often difficult task in light of the contin-
 Change of responsible partner
                                                                                                 ued shortage of such lawyers.
             Personality conflict                                                                    In respect of issues of concern when dealing with
                                                                                                 external counsel, a failure to understand the business or
                                                                      Illustration: Johnnie Au

     Deteriorating brand name/

                  Other reasons
                                                                                                 company garnered poll position with 56.5 percent of
                                                                                                 respondents targeting this as the most important issue.
              Bad firm publicity
                                                                                                 Alarmingly, respondents listed wrong or bad advice as
                                    0   10   20   30   40    50     60
                                                                    (%)                          equal second with excessive fees (43.5 percent). Chi-
                                                                                                 nese in-house counsel also listed work performed
                                                                                                 slowly/inefficiently (39.1 percent) as their third greatest
             Issues of concern when dealing with                                                 concern when dealing with external counsel.
             external counsel
             The top three responses remained largely in line with
             those from our 2008 poll. Excessive fees again ranked                                                                       China
                                                                                                   Which factors most influence your choice of
             as the criterion of greatest concern to in-house counsel                              external counsel?
             in 2009 (58.46 percent), with seven of the ten jurisdic-
                                                                                                      Expertise in a specific area
             tions voting accordingly. The second and third factors
             of most significance for corporate counsel were again a                                                         Fees

             law firm’s failure to completely understand their cli-                                       Reputation of law firm

             ent’s business or company (43.83 percent), and a failure                                            Responsiveness
             to answer questions and concerns in a reasonable time                                         Personal relationship
             (39.93 percent), although these criteria were ranked in                                              with a lawyer
                                                                                                                                     0   10    20    30   40   50    60    70   80 (%)
             the opposite order last year (please refer to Figure 2 for
                                                                                                   What issues have you found to be of concern
             full results in 2009).                                                                when dealing with external counsel?
                                                                                                           Failure to understand
             COUNTRY BY COUNTRY                                                                               business/company
                                                                                                                                                                                         Illustration: Johnnie Au

                                                                                                                Excessive fees;
                                                                                                             Wrong/bad advice

             China                                                                                             Work performed
             Boasting a strong response rate from a diverse range of                                Failure to answer questions/
                                                                                                   concerns in a reasonable time
             industries, in-house counsel and senior management from                                                                0     10        20    30    40        50    60 (%)

Our extensive findings on the issues affecting in-house counsel's
In-House Survey 2009

Hong Kong                                                                                                 Hong Kong
Interestingly, the greatest proportion of respondents from          Which factors most influence your choice of
                                                                    external counsel?
Hong Kong came from the TMT sector (32 percent), with
Financial Services relegated to second place (27 percent) in           Expertise in a specific area

2009. Respondents from Hong Kong’s Infrastructure and                       Fees; Responsiveness

Energy/Natural Resources sectors submitted votes in equal                  Relationship between
                                                                             company & law firm
numbers (20 percent each).                                                       Reputation of an
    For the second year running, an overwhelming propor-                         individual lawyer
                                                                                                      0        20        40        60    80        100 (%)
tion of corporate lawyers in Hong Kong selected expertise in
                                                                    What issues have you found to be of concern
a specific area (81.8 percent) as their most influential factor     when dealing with external counsel?
in choosing external counsel, with fees and responsiveness
                                                                                    Excessive fees
ranking equal second in importance (57.57 percent). The
                                                                      Failure to answer questions/
relationship between their company and a law firm was also           concerns in a reasonable time
                                                                                                                                                             Illustration: Johnnie Au

deemed of significance (33.3 percent) by in-house counsel.                      Wrong/bad advice

    Amidst current economic hardship, the poll highlighted                       Unexplained fees
excessive fees (72.7 percent) as the primary concern for in-                 Failure to understand
house lawyers when using private practitioners. In a shift from                 business/company
                                                                                                      0   10        20   30   40   50   60    70   80 (%)
2008 results, in-house counsel became more concerned with a
law firm’s failure to answer their questions/concerns in a rea-
sonable time (51.5 percent) and less troubled by work being        India
performed slowly/inefficiently, whereas wrong/bad advice           Closely aligned with results from China, the majority of
again earned a position in the top three issues at 39.4 percent.   respondents in India came from three of the country’s key

                                                                                                                                    JULY / AUGUST 2009 29
Our extensive findings on the issues affecting in-house counsel's
Representing Corporate Asia

    sectors: Financial Services and Manufacturing/Con-                                                              influences when choosing external counsel. The jurisdiction
    struction (24 percent apiece) and TMT (20 percent).                                                             placed greater merit in responsiveness (78.26 percent),
        However, unlike China (and Hong Kong), India was one                                                        expertise in a specific area (65.2 percent) and reputation of
    of only four jurisdictions to rank fees outside the top three                                                   a firm (60.87 percent), with less than half of respondents
                                                                                                                    nominating fees as a prominent factor (47.1 percent).
                                                                                                                        The issue of excessive fees is not taken lightly in
      Which factors most influence your choice of
      external counsel?                                                                                             India however, with respondents listing this as their
                                                                                                                    greatest concern (60.87 percent) when dealing with
                                                                                                                    external counsel. Unexplained fees dropped from second
          Expertise in a specific area
                                                                                                                    to fifth position, with in-house counsel identifying a
              Reputation of law firm                                                                                lack of update/news on matters (54.65 percent) and
                                 Fees                                                                               missed deadlines (41.3 percent) as the second and third
              Relationship between                                                                                  most pressing issues in 2009, indicating a need for
                company & law firm
                                         0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80 (%)                              some firms in India to improve their levels of respon-
      What issues have you found to be of concern
                                                                                                                    siveness and time management.
      when dealing with external counsel?

                      Excessive fees
                                                                                         Illustration: Johnnie Au

                                                                                                                    Strong results from Indonesia were divided fairly
               Lack of update/news
                                                                                                                    evenly between TMT (24 percent) and Financial Serv-
                    Missed deadline
                                                                                                                    ices (21 percent). Unsurprisingly, the Infrastructure and
      Failure to understand business/
                           company;                                                                                 Energy/Natural Resources sectors were also well-repre-
       Failure to answer questions/
       concerns in reasonable time 0         10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80 (%)                              sented (16 percent each).

In-House Survey 2009

   Mirroring results from India, in-house counsel in                                                  factors when choosing external counsel (59.65 percent,
Indonesia also ranked responsiveness, expertise in a                                                  56.14 percent and 56.1 percent respectively), with fees
specific area and reputation of a firm as the top three                                               the fourth most influential reason (49.1 percent). The
                                                                                                      lesser emphasis on fees in these two jurisdictions may
                                        Indonesia                                                     well be an indicator of the desire of companies to retain
  Which factors most influence your choice of
  external counsel?                                                                                   the best legal advice in these emerging markets over
                                                                                                      securing the most competitive rates.
                                                                                                          Although excessive fees (59.6 percent) also took
     Expertise in a specific area
                                                                                                      first place in Indonesia amongst the list of concerns
         Reputation of law firm                                                                       when dealing with private practitioners, the jurisdic-
                            Fees                                                                      tion’s second and third nominations diverged from
         Relationship between
                                                                                                      those selected by Indian in-house counsel, with results
           company & law firm
                                    0    10   20   30   40   50   60 (%)
                                                                                                      indicating a failure to understand the business or com-
  What issues have you found to be of concern                                                         pany (38.6 percent) and unexplained fees (35.1 percent)
  when dealing with external counsel?                                                                 as being of greater concern.
                 Excessive fees

         Failure to understand                                                                        Japan
                                                                           Illustration: Johnnie Au

                                                                                                      The vast majority of respondents came from Japan’s Finan-
              Unexplained fees
                                                                                                      cial Services industry (64 percent), followed by a strong
   Failure to answer questions/
   concerns in reasonable time                                                                        showing from TMT (24 percent). The Life Sciences and
             Missed deadline;
              Lack of update;                                                                         Manufacturing/Construction sectors also came into play,
  Work performed inefficiently
                                  0     10    20   30   40   50   60 (%)                              each responsible for 6 percent of the votes submitted.

                                                                                                                                          JULY / AUGUST 2009 31
Representing Corporate Asia

                                                    Japan                                                      tionships with lawyers (36.8 percent). In second place,
            Which factors most influence your choice of                                                        responsiveness and expertise in a specific area (each
            external counsel?
                                                                                                               42.1 percent) are also strongly valued.
                     Relationship between
                       company & law firm                                                                          In light of the value placed on building strong rela-
                Expertise in a specific area;
                                                                                                               tionships with external counsel, it is hardly surprising
                      Personal relationship                                                                    that Japanese in-house counsel will be concerned where
                             with a lawyer
                                     Fees;                                                                     these practitioners fail to have a solid understanding of
               Reputation of an individual
                                                0    10   20    30   40    50 (%)
                                                                                                               their business or company (42.1 percent). They are also
                                                                                                               the only jurisdiction to list a lack of partner involve-
             What issues have you found to be of concern
             when dealing with external counsel?
                                                                                                               ment (15.79 percent) as a noteworthy source of appre-
                                                                                                               hension. The emphasis on relationships is tempered

                                                                                    Illustration: Johnnie Au
                     Failure to understand
                        business/company                                                                       with concern over excessive fees and a failure by exter-
                             Excessive fees;
     Failure to answer questions/concerns                                                                      nal counsel to answer questions and concerns in a rea-
                        in reasonable time
     Lack of partner input or involvement;
                                                                                                               sonable time (26.3 percent).
                          Missed deadline
                                               0     10   20    30   40    50 (%)

       Amidst recession and economic gloom, it appears                                                         Responses from Malaysia came from a wide range of
    that strong relationships stand in good stead in Japan.                                                    industries, with the Infrastructure sector providing the
    The only jurisdiction to identify the relationship between                                                 highest proportion of votes (18 percent). TMT (15 per-
    a company and law firm as the prime factor when                                                            cent), Financial Services and Manufacturing/Construc-
    choosing external counsel (43.7 percent), Japanese in-                                                     tion (13 percent apiece) were also well-represented.
    house counsel also placed emphasis on personal rela-                                                           Little has changed in respect of the expectations of

                                                    KEMALSJAH & ASSOCIATES
                                                                     Attorneys at Law

                                          FIRM OF THE YEAR INDONESIA

                                                          Plaza Bapindo – Bank Mandiri Tower Level 22
                                                    Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 54-55, Jakarta 12190, Indonesia
                                                               T: 62-21-5266206 I F: 62-21-5266202

In-House Survey 2009

Malaysian in-house counsel from 2008 to 2009, with                                                                   as the three most influential factors when choosing
responsiveness (82 percent), expertise in a specific area                                                            external counsel. One interesting observation is the
(76.9 percent) and fees (74.3 percent) again identified                                                              increasing expectation of responsiveness, which only
                                                                                                                     polled in third place last year. The jurisdiction contin-
                                       Malaysia                                                                      ued to place value on the reputation of both firms and
 Which factors most influence your choice of
 external counsel?                                                                                                   individual lawyers (41.02 percent and 38.46 percent
                                                                                                                         In-house counsel have also largely remained con-
    Expertise in a specific area
                                                                                                                     sistent in their concerns when dealing with private
                           Fees                                                                                      practitioners, again citing excessive fees as their main
        Reputation of law firm
                                                                                                                     complaint (69.23 percent), with a firm’s failure to
   Reputation of an individual
                                                                                                                     answer questions and concerns in a reasonable time also
                                   0        20     40        60        80        100(%)
                                                                                                                     a repetitive issue (58.97 percent). However, the juris-
 What issues have you found to be of concern                                                                         diction has this year highlighted a firm’s failure to
 when dealing with external counsel?                                                                                 understand a company or business (56.4 percent) as an
                Excessive fees                                                                                       aggrieving factor, perhaps indicating a need for law
  Failure to answer questions/                                                                                       firms to work on personalising their approach and
                                                                                          Illustration: Johnnie Au

 concerns in a reasonable time
        Failure to understand
                                                                                                                     enhancing relationships with in-house teams.

         Lack of update/news                                                                                         Singapore
      Work performed slowly/
                                                                                                                     Two of Singapore’s fundamental industries, TMT (37 per-
                                 0     10    20   30    40   50   60        70   80 (%)                              cent) and Financial Services (29 percent), drove the largest

                                                                                                                                                           JULY / AUGUST 2009 33
Representing Corporate Asia

    numbers of votes, with the Infrastructure and Manufacturing/                                                       2009 with Singaporean in-house counsel designating it
    Construction sectors also represented (8 percent apiece).                                                          their strongest influencing factor (87.5 percent) when
       Having been listed as a key factor in the 2007 survey                                                           selecting external counsel. The jurisdiction continued to
    but not in 2008, responsiveness re-emerged with vigour in                                                          place emphasis on expertise in a specific area (79.2 per-
                                                                                                                       cent) and fees (70.8 percent), with half the respondents also
                                                                                                                       seeking to highlight the importance of an established per-
      Which factors most influence your choice of
      external counsel?                                                                                                sonal relationship with individual lawyers.
                                                                                                                           In 2009, in-house counsel remained concerned about
                                                                                                                       excessive fees (79.2 percent), a firm’s failure to under-
          Expertise in a specific area
                                                                                                                       stand their business or company (62.5 percent), and a
                                 Fees                                                                                  failure to answer questions and concerns in a reasonable
          Personal relationship with
                            a lawyer
                                                                                                                       time (58.3 percent). An additional concern raised by
      Relationship between company                                                                                     respondents was the incidence of unexplained fees.
                             & firm
                                         0        20     40        60    80        100(%)                              With so many in-house teams facing budgetary restraints,
      What issues have you found to be of concern
                                                                                                                       in-house counsel are most likely now requiring specific
      when dealing with external counsel?                                                                              fee details from firms in an effort to make their dollars
                      Excessive fees
                                                                                                                       go further.
                                                                                            Illustration: Johnnie Au

      Failure to understand business/
                  Unexplained fees;
                                                                                                                       South Korea
       Failure to answer questions/
      concerns in a reasonable time
                                                                                                                       In a marked increase from our 2008 poll, a significant 50
       Work performed inefficiently                                                                                    percent of the respondents in 2009 came from the Repub-
                                        0    10    20   30    40   50   60    70   80 (%)                              lic’s Financial Services industry. TMT and Infrastructure

also had a voice, respectively contributing 15 percent and                                                      area as being the most influential factor when retaining
10 percent of the responses.                                                                                    external counsel (80 percent). In a shift from 2008
    Respondents again viewed expertise in a specific                                                            results however, in-house counsel were also heavily
                                                                                                                swayed by levels of responsiveness (60 percent) and the
                                         South Korea                                                            reputation of an individual lawyer (50 percent), making
 Which factors most influence your choice of
 external counsel?                                                                                              South Korea the only jurisdiction to place such empha-
                                                                                                                sis on a lawyer’s reputation.
      Expertise in a specific area
                                                                                                                    Although again polling in the top spot, in-house coun-
                                                                                                                sel placed increased weight on excessive fees in 2009,
     Reputation of an individual
                         lawyer                                                                                 with 80 percent of respondents identifying this issue as
      Personal relationship with                                                                                their main concern. They were also troubled by firm’s
                        a lawyer
                                                                                                                failing to understand their business or company (50 per-

                                     0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80 (%)
                                                                                                                cent) and providing wrong or bad advice (40 percent).
 What issues have you found to be of concern                                                                    Personality and ethical conflicts also ranked equal fourth,
 when dealing with external counsel?                                                                            alongside unexplained fees and a lack of update or news
                  Excessive fees                                                                                on matters.
          Failure to understand
                                                                                     Illustration: Johnnie Au

             Wrong/bad advice
                                                                                                                Once again, the largest proportion of responses came from
   Failure to answer questions/
  concerns in a reasonable time                                                                                 Thailand’s Financial Services industry (39 percent). In
Unexplained fees; Lack of update;
           Personality conflict;                                                                                2009, strong responses were also garnered from the TMT
                 Ethical conflict
                                    0    10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80 (%)                              sector (33 percent), with Manufacturing/Construction pro-

                                                                                                                                                      JULY / AUGUST 2009 35
Representing Corporate Asia

                                                           Thailand                                                                27.8 percent of respondents also viewed flexible billing
               Which factors most influence your choice of                                                                         policies and free know-how (such as legislative updates)
               external counsel?
                                                                                                                                   as considerations they would take into account when
                                                                                                                                   making their decision.
                            Expertise in a specific area
                                                                                                                                       Following this trend, Thai in-house counsel also
                                       Responsiveness                                                                              viewed excessive fees as the dominant concern when
                            Personal relationship with
                                             a lawyer;                                                                             dealing with external counsel (77.8 percent). In marked
                                Reputation of law firm 0    10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80 (%)
                                                                                                                                   contrast to last year’s results, respondents also strongly
               What issues have you found to be of concern                                                                         felt that wrong or bad advice was a major concern (61.1
               when dealing with external counsel?
                                                                                                                                   percent), an indication that many in-house counsel feel

                                                                                                        Illustration: Johnnie Au
                                        Excessive fees                                                                             they are not getting value for money when retaining
                                    Wrong/bad advice                                                                               external counsel.
     Failure to understand business/company; Failure
        to answer questions/concerns in a reasonable
                 time; Missed deadline; Lack of update 0    10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80 (%)                              United Arab Emirates
                                                                                                                                   The Financial Services (38 percent) and Infrastructure
    viding 17 percent of votes.                                                                                                    (23 percent) sectors were well-represented, with a
        Despite a shaky economic climate affecting all                                                                             strong response rate also received from the Real Estate
    Asian jurisdictions, Thailand was the only jurisdiction                                                                        and Wholesale/Retail industries (15 percent).
    to list fees as the most influential factor when selecting                                                                         Results from the UAE were far from average when
    external counsel and was not shy in doing so, with 77.8                                                                        compared with responses from the other jurisdictions.
    percent of respondents agreeing that costs would affect                                                                        Along with valuing expertise in a specific area, for the
    their choice of firm. It comes as little surprise then that                                                                    second consecutive year, 61.5 percent of respondents

In-House Survey 2009

                               felt the reputation of a firm was of primary concern the                                   United Arab Emirates
                               only jurisdiction to do so. In addition to fees (53.8 per-            Which factors most influence your choice of
                               cent) and responsiveness (31.58), in-house counsel also               external counsel?

                               highlighted concerns over whether external firms had                     Expertise in a specific area;
                                                                                                                Reputation of firm
                               received authorisation from the Dubai Financial Serv-                                            Fees
                               ices Authority to work within the Dubai International
                               Financial Centre, and whether private practitioners had
                               a civil law background and were very familiar in local               Reputation of individual lawyer

                                                                                                                                        0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80 (%)
                               laws and regulations.
                                   Again bucking the trend, respondents from the UAE                 What issues have you found to be of concern
                                                                                                     when dealing with external counsel?
                               deviated from the norm when selecting a lack of update

                                                                                                                                                                                        Illustration: Johnnie Au
                                                                                                              Lack of update/news

                                                                                                                  Unexplained fees
                                                                                               Wrong/bad advice; Missed deadline;
                                                                                                       Work performed inefficiently;
                                                                                              Failure to answer questions/concerns
                                                                                                               in a reasonable time 0       10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80 (%)

                                                                                              or news as their main concern when dealing with exter-
                                                                                              nal counsel (69.2 percent). Significantly, respondents
Illustration: www.oweiss.com

                                                                                              had numerous other criticisms for external counsel,
                                                                                              with wrong or bad advice, missed deadlines, work per-
                                                                                              formed slowly or inefficiently and a firm’s failure to
                                                                                              answer questions or concerns in a reasonable time, all
                                                                                              deemed considerable (30.77 percent).

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                                                         (usual price HK$2,330/US$299 p.a.)

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                                                                                                                                                           JULY / AUGUST 2009 37
Representing Corporate Asia

ASIAN-COUNSEL Firms of the Year 2009
The selection of Asian-Counsel’s Firms of the Year 2009 was based on votes and testimonials by hundreds
of senior in-house counsel across Asia and the UAE. We asked the participants to tell us which law firms
were their preferred external partners for each area of practice. Where appropriate, both a ‘local’ firm
(i.e., a firm originated in that jurisdiction) and ‘international’ firm have been honoured.

 China                            LITIGATION                         MOST RESPONSIVE                   LITIGATION
 ALTERNATIVE                      Herbert Smith                      INTERNATIONAL FIRM OF             Herbert Smith
 INVESTMENT FUNDS                 King & Wood                        THE YEAR
 Clifford Chance                                                     Clifford Chance                   PRIVATE EQUITY
 King & Wood                      PRIVATE EQUITY                                                       Paul, Hastings, Janofsky &
                                  Clifford Chance                                                      Walker
 ANTI-TRUST/COMPETITION           Jun He                             Hong Kong
 Eversheds                                                           ALTERNATIVE                       PROJECT FINANCE
 Jun He                           PROJECT FINANCE                    INVESTMENT FUNDS                  Slaughter and May
                                  Clifford Chance                    Clifford Chance
 BANKING AND FINANCE              King & Wood                                                          REAL ESTATE
 (INCLUDING SECURITIES/                                              ANTI-TRUST/COMPETITION            Paul Hastings Janofsky &
 STRUCTURED PRODUCTS)             REAL ESTATE                        Herbert Smith                     Walker
 Clifford Chance                  JSM Mayer Brown
 Jun He                           Zhong Lun                          BANKING AND FINANCE               REGULATORY/COMPLIANCE
                                                                     (INCLUDING SECURITIES/            Deacons

 Linklaters                       Freshfields Bruckhaus              Slaughter and May                 RESTRUCTURING &
 Jun He                           Deringer                                                             INSOLVENCY
                                  Fangda Partners                    CAPITAL MARKETS                   Lovells
 ACQUISITIONS                     RESTRUCTURING &                                                      TAX
                                  INSOLVENCY                         CORPORATE/MERGERS &               Baker & McKenzie
 Clifford Chance
                                  King & Wood                        ACQUISITIONS
 Fangda Partners
                                                                     Linklaters                        TMT
 EMPLOYMENT/LABOUR                TAX                                                                  Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton
                                  PricewaterhouseCoopers             EMPLOYMENT/LABOUR                 & Garrison
 Minter Ellison
                                                                     Simmons & Simmons
 King & Wood
                                  TMT                                                                  MOST RESPONSIVE
                                  Morrison & Foerster                INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY/            DOMESTIC FIRM OF
                                  Jun He                             PATENTS                           THE YEAR
                                                                     Lovells                           Woo, Kwan, Lee, & Lo
 Baker & McKenzie
 China Sinda                      MOST RESPONSIVE
                                  DOMESTIC FIRM OF THE               INTERNATIONAL                     MOST RESPONSIVE
                                  YEAR                               ARBITRATION                       INTERNATIONAL FIRM OF
                                  Jun He                             Lovells                           THE YEAR
 Herbert Smith                                                                                         Baker & McKenzie
                                                                     ISLAMIC FINANCE
                                                                     Allen & Overy
                                                                                                                       Continued ...

In-House Survey 2009

ALTERNATIVE                Crawford Bayley & Co       PATENTS                    INTERNATIONAL FIRM
INVESTMENT FUNDS                                      Ali Budiardjo, Nugroho,    OF THE YEAR
AZB & Partners             RESTRUCTURING &            Reksodiputro               White & Case
Economic Laws Practice                                ARBITRATION                Japan
                           TAX                        DLA Piper                  ALTERNATIVE
BANKING AND FINANCE        Nishith Desai Associates   Lubis, Santosa & Maulana   INVESTMENT FUNDS
(INCLUDING SECURITIES/                                                           White & Case
Amarchand & Mangaldas &    OF THE YEAR                KarimSyah                  ANTI-TRUST/COMPETITION
Suresh A. Shroff & Co      Amarchand & Mangaldas &                               Nagashima Ohno &
                           Suresh A. Shroff & Co      LITIGATION                 Tsunematsu
CAPITAL MARKETS                                       Lubis, Santosa & Maulana
J. Sagar Associates                                                              BANKING AND FINANCE
                           Indonesia                  PRIVATE EQUITY             (INCLUDING SECURITIES/
CORPORATE/MERGERS &        ALTERNATIVE                Bahar & Partners           STRUCTURED PRODUCTS)
ACQUISITIONS               INVESTMENT FUNDS                                      Iwata Godo
Amarchand & Mangaldas &    Ali Budiardjo, Nugroho,    PROJECT FINANCE
Suresh A. Shroff & Co                                 Hadiputranto, Hadinoto &   CAPITAL MARKETS
                                                                                 Nagashima Ohno &
AZB & Partners             Adnan Kelana Haryanto &    REAL ESTATE
                           Hermanto                   Ali Budiardjo, Nugroho,
                                                                                 CORPORATE/MERGERS &
ENVIRONMENTAL                                         Reksodiputro
Crawford Bayley & Co       BANKING AND FINANCE
                                                                                 Freshfields Bruckhaus
                                                                                 Nagashima Ohno &
PATENTS                    Hadiputranto, Hadinoto &   Eddymurthy Kardono
Anand and Anand            Partners
                                                      RESTRUCTURING &
                                                                                 Anderson Mori &
ARBITRATION                Hadiputranto, Hadinoto &   White & Case               Tomotsune
Proskauer Rose             Partners                   Mochtar Karuwin Komar
                                                                                 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY/
LITIGATION                 CORPORATE/MERGERS &        TAX                        PATENTS
Wadia Ghandy & Co          ACQUISITIONS               PricewaterhouseCoopers     TMI Associates
                           Makarim & Taira S.
PRIVATE EQUITY                                        TMT                        INTERNATIONAL
Nishith Desai Associates   EMPLOYMENT/LABOUR          Makarim & Taira S.         ARBITRATION
                           Kemalsjah & Associates                                Herbert Smith
PROJECT FINANCE                                       MOST RESPONSIVE
AZB & Partners             ENVIRONMENTAL              DOMESTIC FIRM OF           LITIGATION
                           Mochtar Karuwin Komar      THE YEAR                   Herbert Smith
REAL ESTATE                                           Ali Budiardjo, Nugroho,
Wadia Ghandy & Co                                     Reksodiputro
                                                                                         Continued on page 40
                                                                                                 Continued ...

                                                                                     JULY / AUGUST 2008
                                                                                                   2009 39
Representing Corporate Asia

... Japan continued

                          EMPLOYMENT/LABOUR        BANKING AND FINANCE      TMT
                          Lee & Ko                 (INCLUDING SECURITIES/   Wong & Partners
 REAL ESTATE                                       STRUCTURED PRODUCTS)
 Skadden, Arps, Slate,    INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY/   Zaid Ibrahim & Co        MOST RESPONSIVE
 Meagher & Flom           PATENTS                                           DOMESTIC FIRM OF
                          Cho & Partners           CAPITAL MARKETS          THE YEAR
 REGULATORY/COMPLIANCE                             Wong & Partners          Shearn Delamore & Co
 Anderson Mori &          INTERNATIONAL
 Tomotsune                ARBITRATION              CORPORATE/MERGERS &      MOST RESPONSIVE
                          Kim & Chang              ACQUISITIONS             INTERNATIONAL FIRM
 RESTRUCTURING &                                   Wong & Partners          OF THE YEAR
 INSOLVENCY               LITIGATION                                        Baker & McKenzie
 Tokyo Aoi                Bae, Kim & Lee           EMPLOYMENT/LABOUR
                                                   Shearn Delamore & Co
 TAX                      PRIVATE EQUITY                                    Singapore
 White & Case             Lee & Ko                 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY/   ALTERNATIVE
                                                   PATENTS                  INVESTMENT FUNDS
 MOST RESPONSIVE          PROJECT FINANCE          Wong & Partners          Wong Partnership
 DOMESTIC FIRM OF         Lee & Ko
 THE YEAR                                          INTERNATIONAL            ANTI-TRUST/COMPETITION
 Atsumi & Partners        REAL ESTATE              ARBITRATION              Jones Day
                          Kim & Chang              Allen & Overy            Drew & Napier
 MOST RESPONSIVE                                   Skrine
 OF THE YEAR              Kim & Chang              ISLAMIC FINANCE          (INCLUDING SECURITIES/
 White & Case                                      Zul Rafique & Partners   STRUCTURED PRODUCTS)
                          RESTRUCTURING &                                   Linklaters
                          INSOLVENCY               LITIGATION               Allen & Gledhill
 South Korea              Kim & Chang              Shearn Delamore & Co
 ALTERNATIVE                                                                CAPITAL MARKETS
 INVESTMENT FUNDS         TAX                      PRIVATE EQUITY           Linklaters
 Kim & Chang              Yulchon                  Kadir Andri & Partners   Allen & Gledhill

 Kim & Chang              DOMESTIC FIRM OF         Kadir Andri & Partners   ACQUISITIONS
                          THE YEAR                                          Herbert Smith
 BANKING AND FINANCE      Kim & Chang              REAL ESTATE              Wong Partnership
 (INCLUDING SECURITIES/                            Zul Rafique & Partners
 Shin & Kim               INTERNATIONAL FIRM       REGULATORY/COMPLIANCE    Baker & McKenzie
                          OF THE YEAR              Wong & Partners
 CAPITAL MARKETS          Clifford Chance                                   INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY/
 Kim & Chang                                       RESTRUCTURING &          PATENTS
                                                   INSOLVENCY               Baker & McKenzie
 CORPORATE/MERGERS &      Malaysia                 Kadir Andri & Partners
 ACQUISITIONS             ALTERNATIVE                                       INTERNATIONAL
 Kim & Chang              INVESTMENT FUNDS         TAX                      ARBITRATION
                          Wong & Partners          Wong & Partners          Herbert Smith

                                                                                               Continued ...

In-House Survey 2009

Wong Partnership        Baker & McKenzie         INSOLVENCY               Allen & Overy
                                                 Baker & McKenzie
LITIGATION              BANKING AND FINANCE                               LITIGATION
Rajah & Tann            (INCLUDING SECURITIES/   TAX                      Al Tamimi & Company
                        STRUCTURED PRODUCTS)     Law Alliance
PRIVATE EQUITY          Baker & McKenzie                                  PRIVATE EQUITY
Drew & Napier           Weerawong, Chinnavat &   TMT                      Herbert Smith
                        Peangpanor               Morrison & Foerster
PROJECT FINANCE                                                           PROJECT FINANCE
DLA Piper               CAPITAL MARKETS          MOST RESPONSIVE          DLA Piper
Allen & Gledhill        Allen & Overy            DOMESTIC FIRM OF
                        Siam Premier             THE YEAR                 REAL ESTATE
REAL ESTATE                                      Siam Premier             Bin Shabib & Associates
Allen & Gledhill        CORPORATE/MERGERS &
                        ACQUISITIONS             MOST RESPONSIVE          REGULATORY/COMPLIANCE
REGULATORY/             Norton Rose              INTERNATIONAL FIRM       Ashurst
COMPLIANCE              Siam Premier             OF THE YEAR
DLA Piper                                        Baker & McKenzie         TMT
Allen & Gledhill        EMPLOYMENT/LABOUR                                 DLA Piper
                        Siam Premier
RESTRUCTURING &                                  United Arab Emirates     MOST RESPONSIVE
Drew & Napier           PATENTS                  INVESTMENT FUNDS         THE YEAR
                        Tilleke & Gibbins        Herbert Smith            Al Tamimi & Company
TMT                     Herbert Smith            STRUCTURED PRODUCTS)     OF THE YEAR
ATMD Bird & Bird                                 Denton Wilde Sapte       Clifford Chance
MOST RESPONSIVE         Baker & McKenzie         CAPITAL MARKETS
DOMESTIC FIRM OF        Dherakupt                Linklaters
Wong Partnership        PRIVATE EQUITY           CORPORATE/MERGERS &
                        Davis Polk & Wardwell    ACQUISITIONS             Emerging Firms 2009
MOST RESPONSIVE                                  Hadef & Partners         INDIA
INTERNATIONAL FIRM      PROJECT FINANCE                                   Phoenix Legal
OF THE YEAR             Baker & McKenzie         EMPLOYMENT/LABOUR
Baker & McKenzie                                 Al Tamimi & Company      INDONESIA
                        REAL ESTATE                                       Melli Darsa & Co
                        Siam Premier             INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY/
Thailand                                         PATENTS
ALTERNATIVE             REGULATORY/COMPLIANCE    Al Tamimi & Company
INVESTMENT FUNDS        Baker & McKenzie
Davis Polk & Wardwell                            INTERNATIONAL
Siam Premier                                     ARBITRATION
                                                 Herbert Smith

                                                                                            Continued ...

                                                                              JULY / AUGUST 2009 41
Representing Corporate Asia

    The X Factor:
    What it takes to
    create a winning team
                                   Asian-Counsel seeks answers from some of the winning
                                     firms as to what lies behind their secrets to success…

            n addition to illustrating the motivations         the firm has certainly proved it had its finger on the
            behind in-house counsels’ selection of exter-      pulse. Partner Janet Hui believes the firm’s early entry
            nal counsel across the region, Asian-Counsel’s     into this market has been a key component to the team’s
            ‘Representing Corporate Asia’ poll offers tan-     success. She notes, “The team has built-up close work-
    gible evidence as to which law firms the in-house                                     ing relationships and strong
    community finds most impressive across a range of                                     trust with our clients over the
    areas. This peer evaluation considers expertise in                                    past years, well ahead of
    particular practice areas, a firm’s local knowledge,                                  other local firms which might
    and its ability to service clients on a more general                                  have just started to build in
    level. We hear from a handful of the winning firms as                                 this practice area”.
    to what makes their nominated practice areas distinc-                                     The firm’s team is com-
    tive in a competitive legal market.                                                   prised of lawyers from M&A,
                                                                                          corporate commercial and
    ANTI-TRUST/COMPETITION                                                                litigation backgrounds, pro-
    China                                                       Janet Hui                 viding it with the expertise
    After first being prompted to undertake anti-trust/com-                               and capability to address a
    petition work in 2006 (when foreign investors were         myriad of anti-trust issues. Since its inception a few
    required to complete anti-trust filings under M&A          years ago, the team has handled a steady flow of work
    rules), Jun He Law Offices expended sufficient resources   and, according to numerous responses from our 2009
    to establish a specialised and concentrated team to        poll, is now noted for offering smooth communication,
    widen the scope of its practice in 2007, following the     accurate knowledge, a fast response time to queries and
    promulgation of the Anti-Monopoly Law of the PRC           complaints, professionalism and reasonable fees. Hui
    (AML). With competition matters coming to the fore in      says that whilst the economic slowdown did impact the
    China in recent months following the introduction of       practice area due to a significant reduction in anti-trust
    new anti-monopoly laws by the Ministry of Commerce,        filings, the volume of filings has again picked-up in

In-House Survey 2009

JULY / AUGUST 2009 43
Representing Corporate Asia

    recent months. Increasingly receiving instructions from         “there are only a few reliable employment and industrial
    clients outside the PRC relating to the effects and             lawyers in Indonesia,” limiting the firm’s competition in
    impact of the AML, the team’s workload is also evi-             this field. Nonetheless, the employment team works hard to
    dence of China’s ever-mounting reputation as a major            maintain its dominant position, consistently studying rele-
    player on the world’s economic stage.                           vant laws and court judgments in an effort to understand
                                                                    the considerations taken into account by the law-makers,
                                                                    whilst comforting clients and providing practical and prag-
      Top winners by jurisdiction                                   matic advice in response to issues that arise.

      JURISDICTION                 FIRM               AWARDS
                                                                    INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
                                                                    South Korea
                      Jun He Law Offices /
                      Clifford Chance
                                                         =6         Following the firm’s establishment in 2002 as an Intellec-
                                                                    tual Property practice, Cho & Partners has gone from
     HONG KONG        Lovells                            3
                                                                    strength to strength, a fact reflected in the comments by
                      AZB & Partners /
                                                                    polled in-house counsel which extolled the firm’s exper-
     INDIA            Amarchand & Mangaldas &            =3
                      Suresh A. Shroff & Co                         tise, professionalism and lower fees. Whilst IP remains the
                                                                    firm’s primary focus, its copyright practice has also grown
                      Ali Budiarjo Nugroho
                      Reksodiputro (ABNR)
                                                         4          significantly in recent years. This has largely been in
                                                                    response to the many changes to the Republic’s Copyright
                      White & Case / Nagashima Ohno
                      & Tsunematsu
                                                         =3         Act, with companies and industry associations eager to
                                                                    keep track of, and comply with, the legislation. The firm
     MALAYSIA         Wong & Partners                    7
                                                                    promotes a relaxed working environment by instigating a
     SINGAPORE        Allen & Gledhill                   5          casual dress-code (when corporate attire is not strictly nec-
     SOUTH KOREA      Kim & Chang                        9
                                                                    essary) and encouraging all team-members to share their
                                                                    thoughts freely, rather than simply taking orders from the
     THAILAND         Baker & McKenzie                   7
                                                                    top. Partner Ik Hyun Seo says this approach “allows our
     UAE              Al Tamimi & Co                     4          team to be more creative and think outside the box when
                                                                    handling matters.”
                                                                        In addition to its progressive approach, Seo attributes
    EMPLOYMENT                                                      the firm’s success partly to the fact that each client is given
    Indonesia                                                       personal attention from the members of the team responsi-
    According to in-house counsel surveyed, the employment          ble for his or her particular matter. “The client knows
    law capabilities of Indonesian boutique firm Kemalsjah &        which individual to contact if he has any questions and can
    Associates can be singled out from competitors owing to         be assured that the lawyer will know the details of the case.
    the firm’s legal expertise, business knowledge and acumen,      Clients who have come to us after working with other firms
    responsiveness and costs consciousness. The firm is led by      often mention this as a significant point.” Seo says that the
    noted lawyer Kemalsjah Siregar. Receiving his first taste       firm also takes every possible measure to maintain its qual-
    for employment law in 1988, when he was assigned to             ity of work, “even if this means that senior members need
    handle a mass termination involving 11,000 employees            to spend non-billable time reviewing and editing work
    from three banks closed by the government, Siregar later        prepared by a junior member…. The firm believes that
    became the first Indonesian lawyer to focus entirely on         maintaining its reputation and work quality cannot be com-
    employment and industrial affairs in 1993.                      promised for increased profitability.”
        The firm’s business has remained largely unaffected by
    the downturn, with companies continuing to have employ-         Thailand
    ment issues in spite of any change in economic climate.         Established in 1890, Tilleke & Gibbins is Thailand’s oldest
    Siregar notes that his team is further advantaged by the fact   firm and, boasting an IP practice that dates back to the early

JULY / AUGUST 2009 45
Representing Corporate Asia

      years of the twentieth century when the jurisdiction enacted     Nick Peacock, are positive
      the forerunner of its current trademark law, the firm’s prac-    about the growth potential of
      tice group has an unsurpassed wealth of experience to draw       the practice’s arbitration
      from. As it has continued to develop and evolve over the         arm, commenting, “As the
      years, the firm’s IP practice has clearly found a winning        legal market in Singapore
      formula when servicing clients, with in-house counsel            liberalises and the recent
      praising the team’s reputation for expertise, detailed work,     promotional efforts of the
      responsiveness and reasonable fees.                              Singapore       International
                                         Darani Vachanavuttivong,      Arbitration Centre and the
                                     co-managing partner and man-      Singapore government begin
                                     aging director of the firm’s      to bear fruit, we anticipate a
                                     Intellectual Property depart-     rise in our caseloads of Sin-
                                                                                                        Maurice Burke
                                     ment, says that some of the       gapore arbitration.”
                                     firm’s success is due to the
                                     fact it makes every effort to     LITIGATION
                                     offer clients an integrated IP    Malaysia – Shearn Delamore & Co
                                     practice. The department’s IP     Litigation has been a vital element of Malaysian firm
                                     attorneys, patent attorneys,      Shearn Delamore & Co since its inception, having been the
                                     patent agents and support staff   pioneering practice for the firm when it opened over one
                                     work side-by-side, Vachana-       hundred years ago in 1905. Drawing on the experience of
Darani Vachanavuttivong
                                     vuttivong says, “as a cohesive    its diverse team, which is comprised of lawyers from an
                                     unit to provide responsive and    assortment of training and academic backgrounds, the
      efficient services at a lower cost.” Furthermore, whilst the     firm’s dispute resolution practice has grown since that time
      firm is flexible in respect to fees, she maintains there is a    to cover a broad spectrum of contentious work across
      strict approach to providing high quality levels of service.     industries including banking, aviation, construction, health
      “The members of our IP team are professional but also                                                 services, media, tele-
      friendly, optimistic and proactive. We work with our clients                                          communications and
      as a team, focusing on mutual support and positive out-                                               insurance.
      comes.” When coupled with the firm’s vast IP experience,                                                  Identifying      the
      this is surely an attractive combination.                                                             market as a very real
                                                                                                            influence on the firm’s
      INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION                                                                             practice areas, Robert
      Singapore                                                                                             Lazar, head of the
      In-house counsel commended Herbert Smith’s Singapore                                                  firm’s Dispute Resolu-
      arbitration team, part of the firm’s disputes practice group,                                         tion practice group,
      for its expertise, levels of responsiveness, flexible billing                                         acknowledges         the
      practices and emphasis on personal relationships.                                                     growing impact of
          Traditionally strong in energy, telecommunications and                                            Islamic finance in
                                                                        Robert Lazar
      financial services arbitration, the firm has also represented                                         Malaysian, comment-
      clients from the manufacturing, electronics and shipping                                              ing, “Islamic banking
      sectors on a number of arbitrations, with the disputes team      and finance has been growing phenomenally and will con-
      more generally focusing on providing comprehensive               tinue to take centre state in banking and finance.” He also
      investment protection for international corporations             anticipates a general increase in litigation/dispute resolu-
      embroiled in any litigation, arbitration and regulatory dis-     tion, owing to the slow down of markets both regionally
      putes in Southeast Asia and, increasingly, the Indian sub-       and internationally. In order to maintain the success of the
      continent. The group’s lead partners, Maurice Burke and          practice area in Malaysia’s expanding legal market, Lazar

In-House Survey 2009

JULY / AUGUST 2009 47
Representing Corporate Asia

      says his dispute resolutions team will continue to commit         economic and regulatory
      to meeting the varying challenges of the business world.          landscapes. “We have been
      “We aim to consistently provide viable solutions for the          very grateful for our ability to
      real world with a practical and results-oriented approach.”       leverage our long-experience
                                                                        in the Japanese market with
      PRIVATE EQUITY                                                    our global real estate and
     Singapore                                                          restructuring expertise to best
     In existence for around twenty years now, the private              assist out clients in analysing
     equity practice of Singaporean firm Drew & Napier com-             and addressing the virtually
                                prises lawyers from a range of          unprecedented challenges
                                backgrounds, including invest-          presented in the current            Audrey Sokoloff

                                ment banking, government, engi-         market…. More than ever, it
                                neering and fund management.            is about service quality, value for money and delivering the
                                Whilst this diversity helps to adds     best possible result.”
                                breadth and depth to the team, it           Skadden pinpoints the diversity of its team as also
                                also extends its capability to lev-     being a key factor to providing strong service levels to its
                                erage off other practice areas,         wide-ranging clientele. The team includes lawyers hailing
                                enabling the team to address            from different backgrounds and geographical locations
                                issues in tax, anti-trust, distressed   including Australia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and the
                                and restructuring scenarios, and        United States, who are able to speak a multitude of lan-
Yeo Wee Kiong                   in trade sales or capital market        guages. It is this variety, Sokoloff asserts, that challenges
                                offerings. According to director        the team “to achieve our best, as we develop from each
     Yeo Wee Kiong, the firm views its team’s success as partly         other an understanding that crosses not only legal systems,
     owing to its efforts to view issues from its clients’ points of    but borders and cultures as well.”
     view. “We approach problems not merely with legal analy-
     sis but also from our clients’ perspectives with a view to         China
     achieving practicable, workable solutions expeditiously            JSM Mayer Brown initiated its China real estate practice in
     and within budget expectations.”                                   the late 1980s in order to service its Hong Kong-based
                                                                        clients, who were amongst the first foreign investors in
      REAL ESTATE                                                       China’s real estate sector. Over the years, the practice has
      Japan                                                                                               evolved to meet the
      The Japanese real estate team of Skadden, Arps, Slate,                                              changing needs of its cli-
      Meagher & Flom LLP was established in 2000. According                                               ents, developing into a
      to Audrey Sokoloff, who leads the firm’s Asia Pacific real                                          multidisciplinary practice
      estate practice from its Tokyo office, the team quickly                                             covering property devel-
      developed “a deep involvement and expertise in virtually                                            opment and management,
      all aspects of sophisticated real estate and investment                                             construction, tax, leasing
      finance in Japan, representing developers, investors, lend-                                         and financing.
      ers, funds, advisors and other market participants across                                               Partners Ian Lewis
      the real estate spectrum.” With the credit crisis dramati-                                          and Billy Ho are cau-
      cally affecting the real estate and investment finance mar-                                         tiously optimistic about
      kets, the firm’s real estate practice has also markedly                                             further growth, comment-
      changed. Sokoloff says that many clients have now shifted          Ian Lewis                        ing, “Most recently we
      their investment focus to take advantage of distressed and                                          have detected significant
      strategic opportunities, whilst others are looking to recapi-     interest among a variety of groups in outbound property
      talise or restructure debt to better survive the changing         investment, and we see significant potential for us to assist

In-House Survey 2009

JULY / AUGUST 2009 49
Representing Corporate Asia

     in this new development.” Aside from providing fresh per-          cology to work on matters involving the pharmaceutical
     spectives, the partners believe their team’s diversity will        industry. The team is also known for its ability to pro-
     also be of benefit as the economic landscape continues to          vide advice from high positioned ex-officials. Choi
     change. “The involvement of private equity funds and               observes, “We work in conjunction with colleagues who
     other international players in the Chinese property sector         formerly served with regulatory and administrative
     has provided a role for lawyers with an international back-        agencies, ensuring unparalleled depth of expertise into
     ground, and the development of outbound property invest-           the inner workings of government agencies…. [and]
     ment will provide a role for our partners in other jurisdictions   allowing our practice group to approach our clients’
     to assist in the development of our real estate practice.”         needs with a comprehensive understanding of their
         In addition to building long-term relationships with           business environment without compromising legal
     clients, the partners believe the firm’s historical strength       acumen.”
     in Asia acts as a distinct advantage in setting the firm               In-house counsel in our 2009 poll have been gener-
     apart from competitors. “All of our lawyers are long-term          ous in their praise of the firm’s regulatory and compli-
     Asia residents who have been doing real estate-related             ance practice, citing the team’s creativity, innovation,
     work in the region for many years. As such, we under-              responsiveness and expertise as key attractions. The
     stand cultural issues and appreciate the way in which real         team is also admired for its risk management skills and
     estate law has developed.”                                         value for money. As one poll respondent said, “Regula-
                                                                        tory and compliance matters are too important to trust
     REGULATORY & COMPLIANCE                                            to any lawyers but the best.”
      South Korea
      Having established its practice group in 1973, Kim &              RESTRUCTURING & INSOLVENCY
      Chang has witnessed many changes to the regulatory                Hong Kong
                               landscape over the past thirty-          In-house counsel recognised the expertise of individual
                               six years, especially in response        lawyers in Lovells’ Business Restructuring and Insol-
                               to the advent of economic                vency (BRI) practice group in
                               development and increasing               Hong Kong, and felt the team
                               foreign investment into South            offered its clients good value
                               Korea. As the Republic’s regu-           for money. Neil McDonald,
                               latory and administrative agen-          who joined the firm in 2005
                               cies have become more aware              to grow its existing BRI prac-
                               of the impact of their actions           tice and who currently leads
                               on business operations, whether          the firm’s practice group
                               by rulemaking or enforcement,            across Asia, says the team has
                               businesses have in turn become           grown tremendously and is
Kyle Choi                      involved in the law-making               now regarded as of the largest
                               process and more proactive in            restructuring and insolvency
      their regulatory compliance efforts. Recognising this             practices in Hong Kong. Neil McDonald
      change in agency and business strategy, the team has              McDonald attributes client
      responded accordingly. Partner Kyle Choi notes, “Our              relationships as being key to his team’s success over the
      practice has been more involved in the rulemaking                 past four years. “I always maintain very close and fre-
      process as well as becoming an integral part of our cli-          quent contact with our key clients regardless of whether
      ents’ compliance efforts.”                                        we are working together on a major deal or not, and I
          The practice group includes attorney and specialist           encourage my team to do this as well. We make a con-
      paralegals whose backgrounds allow them to provide                certed effort to really get to know our clients, know
      in-depth industry insight. For instance, the team con-            their industry and the challenges they face.”
      tains attorneys with degrees in medicine and pharma-                  With each member having his or her own specialisa-

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